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  • Writer's pictureSteph

What to say to the job seekers you love – the list you need

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Job search conversations

“Hey, how’s the job search going?” your family and friends casually ask. 💁🏻‍♀️

Some days are like this... 🤗

Other days, a little more... 🙀

Okay, so maybe, as a collective group, job seekers are not always the easiest to relate to (or live with) when we’re on the hunt. Who can blame us? Between resumes, cover letters, and then uploading the same information again online, multiple rounds of interviews, hearing back, not hearing back, wondering what the future holds, considering options, and evaluating offers all while managing the rest of life... there’s a lot going on.

Naturally, you want to be supportive of the job seekers you love during this time.

Picture an athlete about to start the 100M dash, midway through a strenuous tennis match or in the final inning of a baseball game; your words would be encouraging, motivating and supportive. You would not use that moment to point out statistics, how awful the weather is, or question their methods. It’s go time!

Athletes want to focus. Similarly, it’s natural for anyone working on a high-stakes job search to want to retreat until they can emerge with an offer. They may volunteer little information about this mysterious process, which tends to cause concern for onlookers.

Usually, job seekers come to me saying they want more space and the people around them don’t understand, while the latter (especially parents and partners) would like more interaction to make sure everything is okay, given the news these days.

The happy medium

The happy medium comes from a surprising source: feeling good.

When you feel good you are more likely to take positive action towards your goal. In turn, you feel comfortable sharing your experience and progress with others (at least enough to reassure them you’re okay – and, so they can know how best to support you).

You are also more likely to value yourself with self-care, take breaks to recharge, and do other things in your life that restore energy and make it possible to be pleasant, sociable, and patient with questions about how things are going, etc.

Significantly, you'll also have more stamina and higher resilience to navigate and endure the job search, itself.

Everyone plays a part

This is not to say it rests solely on job seekers (who have enough going on). Sometimes the people around us can help in reducing, shall we say, the amount of enthusiasm and inquisitiveness towards our job search as we roll up our sleeves and do the work.

Personal preference also matters and I encourage ongoing dialogue for all parties involved (especially when living together). Keep in mind, the person you love may be job searching for the first time, or first time in years; equally, those around you have not seen you conduct a job search before, or in a while. Communication is key.

Awesome things to say, to yourself and the job seekers you love

Here are some winning phrases to foster support, good vibes, and happy relationships while on the hunt.

1. You’re doing great. Keep going.

You can never encourage yourself, nor a job seeker, too much. There was a humorous commercial campaign a while back, portraying numerous awkward situations the characters resolve by saying, “Thank you”.

When it comes to the myriad job search ups and downs, a sincere and caring, “You’re doing great,” is the gold standard. It is versatile in any situation a job seeker is putting in the effort, big or small. Positive action begets more positive action.

2. I believe in you. You’re awesome.

I believe in you. Are there any more powerful words?

What we believe about ourselves is a game changer. What we hear from others also influences our thoughts and actions. It must be uplifting.

I have seen job searches come to a halt because the person was not supported – or, did not perceive or feel support – from those around them. This is also why mentors and coaches are beneficial, especially if you desire more support than your immediate circle is able to provide.

Devote time, and help those you love, to amp up self-worth. Cite specific examples of what you have overcome up to this point, and a long list of your unique qualities that are valuable to an employer – and, that make you proud. You are stronger than you know.

3. You will find a job. Any company will be lucky to have you.

As humans, we need to know that our hard work is going to pay off.

You will find a job. If you are taking diligent action and doing everything you can, your efforts will ultimately be successful. We cannot predict the exact date or what it will look like, and that’s hard. Nevertheless, act as if it will happen.

If you believe something is probable, then you will do what is necessary to make it happen.

Helping those you love to see the big picture – and, reminding yourself – is instrumental to a championship mindset. This job search is temporary (thank goodness) and it will yield a productive result.

Energy flow

We are more likely to take effective action when we are feeling good about ourselves.

It is energy boosting to believe in yourself and to receive support from others.

It is only a matter of time until you find something. It is okay to set aside your job search and enjoy other parts of your life during the day including downtime, relationships, family, friends, exercise, hobbies and personal interests. In fact, I highly recommend it.

Half of the battle (or more) of a successful job search is showing up and sticking with it until you reach your goal. By keeping your spirits up and relationships enjoyable, you will have more energy, alertness, and overall pleasantness to get through the day - and, your job search. Your life will feel better; you will view potential opportunities with an open mind, visualize favorable outcomes and work towards them, interview better, and be able to strategically evaluate next steps and job offers.

The people around you will feed off of your good energy.

Maintain a sense of humor, keep things in perspective, and do the work that needs to be done. Express with kindness what you need from those around you, and know that eventually you will be celebrating a brand-new job – together.

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